Chapter 10Friday was another uneventful day for Kieran as he stayed at home again, not wanting to cause possible further injury to his ankle if he would have gone to the YMCA. He missed his work out session though. Working his muscles and feeling the energy run through the parts of his body he could feel always gave him a feeling of contentment and like some of the bottled up anxieties were released every time. He felt somewhat tense during the day and even though hearing from Erin made him happy and he was looking forward to meeting her again he couldn’t help a distant pain about the things that were happening every night still lingering inside of him.
Trying to be positive though he got in the shower in the afternoon. After the shower he was parked in his closet and picked out a dark button up shirt and a pair of blue jeans for his date. Sitting up on his bed he pulled his boxers and jeans over his legs and eventually transferred back into his wheelchair, then putting on his shirt. The wound on his belly he had acquired a week earlier after the date with Erin was almost healed and he didn’t have a bandage on it anymore. He left the top button of his shirt undone and neatly rolled up the sleeves to his biceps. Carefully he slipped his black Nike sneaker on his left foot. He had to leave his shoe laces all the way undone and pulled out. He did tie the laces on his right shoe and by covering his shoes up with his jeans he was hoping his injured ankle in an untied sneaker wasn’t too obvious.In the bathroom he looked at himself once more. On his forehead the small laceration of his fall in the bathroom a week earlier was also almost gone and with some strands of his dark bangs he tried to cover it up somewhat. He splashed a few drops of cologne on his skin and with his backpack on his lap he wheeled out to the family room where the family was getting ready to eat dinner.
Kieran had told Erin he would be at her house at seven. He was nervous just like the first time he met her but at least he knew what to expect now.
The kids and Tyler told him to have fun and Fiona walked out into the garage after him.
She smiled, “You look nice again. Where are you guys going to eat tonight?”
“I don’t know yet. I’m going to let her pick a place.”
“Oh good. Are you feeling all right?”
“Yeah, I am good.”
“How is your foot?”
Kieran lifted his jeans up some and Fiona glanced at his untied sneaker, “Just be careful with it.”
He nodded and threw his back pack into the backseat of the Mustang, then pulled his Quickie up to the driver side and transferred over into the seat. He took off the wheels and stashed the wheelchair frame and the two wheels into the backseat.
Fiona stood by and once Kieran was sitting sturdy in his seat he glanced up at his sister, “I don’t know when I’ll be home.”
Fiona smiled, “Don’t worry. I won’t wait up but I also DO NOT want to get a call from the hospital or something.”
Kieran looked away and shook his head, “You won’t.”
“Have fun and be good.”
“Thanks sis…see you later.”
The garage door opened with the push of a button inside the Mustang and Kieran pulled out. There were some kids out playing in the street and he carefully passed them as they stood over to the side and watched his car go by. Even though the neighbors knew his car it did always attract some attention and he enjoyed it.
He was surprised to find Erin outside her house ready and waiting for him. She was wearing a turquoise colored long skirt, a sleeveless top, and matching wedge heel sandals. She waved at him when he pulled up and she quickly came down the driveway, around to the passenger side, and got in, “Hey Kieran.”
“Hi Erin, I hope you haven’t been out here too long already?”
“I’ve only been out here a few minutes.
She smiled at him and he was struck once again at her beautiful and warm face. He wasn’t all the way sure how to greet her.
Erin took charge of that when she leaned over and with a smile greeted him, “I am happy to see you Kieran.”
Her face was right in front of his as she was leaning over the gear shift.
He felt her breath on his face and replied, “I’m really happy to see you again.”
With that Erin didn’t wait but moved in on him and Kieran brought his hand up to her head as she placed a gentle kiss on his lips. All his senses went into overdrive at the touch of her lips on his. She kept her eyes down when she took her lips away.
Kieran put his finger under her chin and gently lifted her head, “Hey.”
Erin was very excited to see Kieran again and she could barely look into his green eyes scanning her face. She replied lowly, “I was looking forward to tonight all week.”
Kieran still had his finger under her chin, “Me too. It has been way too long since last week.”
“You’re right. It has been a long week.”
Erin had caught a glance of Kieran’s wheelchair in the backseat and right away her heart had started beating faster for some reason she couldn’t explain. It confused her some but she was very happy to see him again and couldn’t wait to spend the evening with him.
Kieran kept his eyes on her, “So I was thinking you should pick a place to eat. There are a couple of movies playing around nine thirty if you still want to go.”
“Any idea where you want to eat?”
Erin thought for a moment and came up with a place, “Have you been at the Sunset Café down by the Marina?”
“Heard of it but never been there.”
“It’s a nice restaurant, not too pricey and we could possibly sit outside since it’s still so warm out.”
On this warm late summer evening the temperatures were still in the low 70’s.
Kieran nodded, “All right, let’s check it out.”
Erin smiled and moved over to her seat all the way. Kieran glanced at Erin once more and then started his car and he drove off toward the waterfront.
In the car they talked about their week but Kieran didn’t mention his nightly encounters and the old man’s appearance in his life or the Friday night after his first date with her.
Erin was excited to be with Kieran again. He had been on her mind all week and even though she could have met up with him earlier she didn’t want to move too fast and seem too eager. So she had pushed the second date to this Friday but now was happy to finally sit in the car next to him, about to spend a few hours with him.
At the restaurant Kieran found a disabled parking spot quickly. Erin watched as he grabbed his wheelchair from the back seat and saw his biceps work hard as he lifted the wheelchair out and set it up next to him on the driver’s side. She had walked around to his side and stood off a few steps from the car but was still able to see everything Kieran did as he took his key out of the ignition. He then placed his one hand on his Quickie and with the other pushed his body over to the edge of the seat as far as possible. The chair was close enough and with one good push he transferred over and Erin watched with trembling hands as he pulled his legs over and placed them carefully on the foot rest of the Quickie.
Kieran was focused on his task and didn’t look up at her but he could feel Erin watching him and he felt somewhat insecure. He slammed the car door shut and held the key out to lock it with two quick beeps.
When he looked up at Erin she smiled at him and he nodded with a shy smile, “Ready?”
They walked next to each other toward the entrance. Erin kept her pace adjusted to his wheeling and at the building Kieran took the ramp that went up to the main entrance while Erin took the steps.
She watched him wheel up the slightly slanted ramp and he met her eyes on the top and she looked down quickly. Erin held the door open for Kieran as he wheeled by her and thanked her.
After they checked in with the hostess they were able to get a seat outside on the deck overlooking the water and out to the Marina. At the door to the outside Kieran had a small threshold to get over and Erin watched as he quickly lifted his wheelchair up off its caster wheels and made it over the threshold with a small hop.
There were people sitting out on the deck and when Kieran and Erin came through some of them eyed him quickly in his wheelchair as he made his way to the assigned table where the hostess moved a chair away for him to pull up to the table. He thanked her and pushed the Quickie up to the table. Erin pulled out the chair next to him and seated herself. They had a perfect view out to the water.
Kieran watched Erin as she adjusted her seating and hung her purse over the back of the chair. Her hair was flowing lightly in the breeze coming from the water and he felt happy to be with her.
She tugged her hair behind her ears as she finally sat comfortable and looked over at him with a smile, “This is a nice table.”
“Yes, it is. Great view and it’s clear tonight. You can see all the way over to Meridian Island.”
They looked into the direction of the island and let their eyes travel over the water and the marina for a few moments.
Eventually Erin returned her focus back to the table and to Kieran and he met her eyes when she looked at him.
She felt slightly nervous still and asked, “So how was the beginning of school for Ashleigh and Dominic?”
Kieran laughed lowly and started to tell Erin about the kid’s first days and then he asked Erin the same about her girls.
They were interrupted by the waiter and ordered their drinks, then opened the menu’s the waiter had placed in front of them. Once they had found what they wanted to eat their beverages were brought to the table. Erin had a red wine and Kieran a beer. They ordered and the waiter left again.
With his glass lifted Kieran said, “Well, to our second date I guess.”
Erin lifted her glass and tapped his, smiling, “Yes, cheers to our second date.”
As they set their glasses down, a couple of Jet Ski’s passed by on the water and they watched for a moment.
Erin smiled, “They are going pretty fast. Crazy!”
“Yeah, it looks fun actually.”
Erin moved her eyes to him, “Maybe it is. I won’t ever try it.”
Kieran looked down with a smile, “I probably won’t ever try it either.”
Erin didn’t think there would even be a possibility for Kieran to do something like that even if he wanted to and for a moment she thought before she asked carefully, “Are you into any kind of sport still? I mean there are adapted sports, right?”
She felt awkward asking him but Kieran answered with a smile, “Yeah, they actually have a lot of sports that paraplegics or even other disabled people can do but I haven’t tried any of it. I don’t think I will. I go to the gym and that is about the range of my activities nowadays.”
Erin glanced at his arms, his shirt sleeves snug around his muscles, “I can see that.”
Right away she felt dumb after she had said it but Kieran laughed a little, “I try to keep in shape somewhat. Makes things easier when I have to pull and throw my body around all the time.”
Erin smiled and took another sip from her glass, a little nervous at the subject.
She took a deep breath and then looked up at Kieran with serious eyes, starting lowly, “Kieran…I..”
She stopped talking and Kieran tried to make her feel okay with a smile, “Yes?”
She took a deep breath again, “Well, I really don’t know much about paraplegia and I’m sorry I may sound ignorant but I’m willing to learn and I want to know everything about it and about you in that sense. So if I make stupid comments it is not because I’m ignorant, it’s because I don’t know.”
Kieran turned serious and he felt he needed to take her hand.
As he took her hand in between his he thought for a moment, “Erin, don’t worry about it. You haven’t said anything stupid. I know you are not ignorant. There are a lot of things going on with me and I want you to know in time but not all of it at once and not at the beginning of this…”
His words faded because he really didn’t know what “this” referred to.
He lowered his eyes until Erin took the word again, “I understand but I hope I will get that opportunity to learn all of those things about you.”
He looked up at her and nodded slightly, “You will get that opportunity.”
Erin smiled and without words they leaned in on each other and they softly kissed for a moment until a clearing of a throat interrupted them and the waiter brought the food.
After the waiter left they smiled at each other and Erin said lowly, “Thank you Kieran.”
He just smiled and they started eating a moment later.
During their dinner they didn’t talk about anything disability related anymore but had a loose conversation about work and the kids.
Kieran couldn’t help his feelings for Erin get stronger by the minute. He loved seeing her laugh and chatter about everything. He enjoyed looking at her long brunette hair and how she kept tugging it behind her ear or threw her head back to get the hair out of her face, opening up the view to her slender and smooth neck. Her breasts were perfect under the tank top and her arms were tanned just right.
On a few occasions his mind wandered to a place where he would be alone with Erin and be able to get a lot closer to her.
In a moment like that he was pulled out of his imagination when Erin asked, “So Kieran, do you want to find work again?”
Kieran snapped out of his thoughts and focused on Erin, thinking for a moment, “Ah, yeah, I would like to work again eventually but it just hasn’t happened. I only have so many options and I just haven’t found the right thing yet.”
In reality his PTSD and paraplegia had kept him to even look for jobs. He had been too unstable up until recently and only lately was getting a grip on life again. With the recent events though he had started to doubt his sanity again and was still trying to figure it all out.
Erin smiled, “Well, I’m sure there will be something out there for you. Doesn’t the Military kind of help you transition back into civilian life again?”
Kieran nodded and answered tensely, “Yeah, they kind of do but they can only do so much.”
Erin felt that Kieran was still hesitant to go into more detail about these things and she didn’t ask him anything else but instead kept eating quietly.
He had realized that he had made her feel uncomfortable somewhat and he set his fork down, looked over at her and said lowly, “Erin, I’m sorry I didn’t really answer your question. Yes, the Military does things for me and they are trying to help but I’m not all the way ready for the work life and being out there like this. I’ve tried a couple of months ago and had a part time job in retail.”
Erin stopped in her bite and looked at Kieran, “What happened?”
Kieran wiped his mouth with the napkin and looked out across the water answering, “I wasn’t all the way ready mentally.”
Erin didn’t say anything for a moment and before she could ask anything else Kieran added lowly with his eyes on her, “I still deal with PTSD a lot. I’m on medications and I’m sometimes not doing well. I’m managing okay but I have bad days.”
Erin swallowed and looked down, not knowing what to say. Kieran leaned back in his Quickie waiting nervously for Erin’s reply.
She looked up to him and started lowly, “Kieran, I’m sorry but thank you for telling me this stuff. I really want to know and please know that it doesn’t change how I feel about you and that I’m really happy to be here with you.”
Kieran nodded, “It means a lot to me but I’m also worried how to go about telling you this stuff and I’m very worried the more you find out it could change your mind about being with me. You are the best thing that has happened to me in a long time.”
He stopped and felt nervous.
Erin leaned over some and took his hand in hers now, “I have a feeling that there is a lot more to you than meets the eye and yes, it may not exactly be all sunshine and fun but I won’t let things I don’t even know yet get in the way of us and how I feel about you. I will deal with those things when they happen. And I also want you to know that you don’t have to prove anything to me. You are an attractive guy and I’m very happy you asked me out and I like the way you are, all of it and whatever happens, happens. I don’t want you to keep things away from me though. I can handle some stuff, Kieran and I want you to know that you can trust me and you don’t have to feel ashamed or whatever about letting me in on things that pertain to who you are. I want to get to know all of you. Not just the good things.”Kieran had his eyes on their hands and he felt his breathing quicken at Erin’s words. As much as it relieved him that she had said these things he also worried about the truth she would eventually find out about him.
Just like Erin could read his mind she repeated, “All of you Kieran. I don’t want you to worry about letting me in on everything. If you let me I’m here to hang around for a while no matter what happens.”
He slowly moved his eyes up to her and she smiled at him, “I think it’s time you let someone back in.”
Kieran nodded slowly, “You’re probably right. I have to stop worrying. I appreciate everything you said. I enjoy very much being here with you. It makes me feel very good inside. I promise I will let you in on stuff when the moment calls for it. I do care for you but I don’t want to overwhelm you with my issues. Please be patient with me and when I can, I let you know things. I’m far from perfect and there are so many things going on and have happened for me in the last couple of years. I’m trying my best to get a grip on life again but sometimes it still feels like it is slipping right out of my hands.”
Erin asked lowly, “Is that also why you live with your sister and her family?”
“Fiona was there in my darkest times. She helped me a lot and I’m very glad I’m with them for right now. The kids are good for me and just living with people who care helps tremendously.”
With that Erin nodded and put her hand on the side of Kieran’s face and stroked over his cheek softly. They looked at each other for a moment until she said, “Kieran, I really like you and I hope we can make this work. I’m totally willing to. You can now add another person to your list of people who care about you.”
He nodded with a smile, “Thanks and yes, I’m willing as well.”
With that she moved closer with her chair, leaned in on Kieran, and they kissed.
After dinner Kieran left his car parked and they went for an evening stroll along the waterfront. It was still warm and not all the way dark yet. People were out walking, running and just enjoying the view of the sunset over the water.
Kieran easily pushed his rims and his Quickie rolled smoothly over the paved walkway. Erin stayed beside him and here and there she would glance over at him and just admire his skills and how he worked his wheelchair.
He glanced up at her a few times while they were strolling along but mostly kept his eyes on the path in front of him careful to dodge people or make sure they moved out of his way.
When they came to an unoccupied bench away from the main path Erin suggested, “Do you want to take a break for a little while?”
She gestured toward the bench. It was located in a patch of grass and Kieran quickly eyed the grass and its height and contemplated the ease of which he could get over to the bench with his wheelchair.
Erin saw his eyes scanning the grass and she added quickly, “We can also keep on walking…”
She stumbled over her words, “I mean I can keep on walking…you can…”
Kieran smiled, “It’s all right. We can go over to the bench.”
The grass wasn’t very high at all but Kieran had to give his rims some strong pushes but made it to the bench where Erin was standing and watching him come closer.
Once he made it, she sat down and apologized, “I’m sorry Kieran. It looks difficult on the grass.”
He tried to make her feel at ease, “No, it wasn’t bad at all. The grass isn’t very high and so it was all right. No worries, okay.”
She took a breath, then looked over at Kieran, “Please tell me when I make a dumb suggestion or something.”
He took her hand and pulled her right to the edge of the bench next to his Quickie, and he smiled at her, “I will tell you. I promise.”
They laughed and Erin scanned his wheelchair for a moment, “So, is it pretty easy to maneuver then?”
“It’s easy when the surface is right. When it’s too smooth I really can’t push my rims too hard because then it rolls too fast. I have crashed before.”
Kieran nodded, “Actually I did crash this week.”
Erin sat up some, and asked with surprise, “What? How? The accident you mentioned to me…”
Kieran nodded and told her a mild lie about his crash at the VA hospital in the hallway. He didn’t mention why he was there or the old man but merely stated that he pushed his rims too hard and the floor was wet when his chair lost its grip to the ground and fell over and he tumbled out.
Erin listened full of attention and Kieran finished with, “So, when I got home and tried to take my shoes off I realized something wasn’t right with my left foot. It didn’t come out of my shoe easy and when I looked at it closer I realized it was swollen and apparently I sprained my ankle.”
Erin replied, “That’s not good.”
Kieran pulled his jeans up on his left leg some so Erin could glance at his ankle in his untied Nike sneaker, “Yeah, I didn’t break it but I guess it is sprained. I have to leave my laces untied for right now.” He laughed a little.
“So, you didn’t even know?”
Kieran shook his head, “Nope, I had no idea until I saw my swollen ankle at home.”
She remarked carefully, “It would hurt a lot.”
“I didn’t feel it. I can’t feel any pain from my chest down. Yeah, it’s weird but I still have to be careful with my foot now when I move it or lift it or whatever.”
“I’m sorry Kieran. I’m glad it is not fractured though.”
Kieran laughed lowly, “I guess it really wouldn’t make a difference. Fracture, sprain…it’s all the same to me. I wouldn’t know and I wouldn’t feel any of it.”
Erin watched as he pushed his pant leg back down and then she looked over at him.
He could tell she was still pondering on his words and he added lowly, “Yeah, it’s kind of like the lower half of my body is not even there. I can see it but I can’t feel it. So with that I can’t feel any pain or anything. I get spasms a lot and they are uncomfortable, sometimes like a weird pain but nothing major. It kind of sucks because I’ve gotten sick before and didn’t even know it.”
Erin wanted to know more, “Sick how?”
“Like a UTI…”
“You didn’t know?”
“No, I only knew when I started getting a high fever and my blood pressure sky rocketed and they took me to the ER. There they diagnosed the UTI that had already infected my kidney. It wasn’t good but I made it out of it. Thank God for Antibiotics. This was about nine months ago. I haven’t been sick anymore lately.”
Erin’s eyes were on him, “Well, I’m glad about that.”
Kieran lowered his eyes, looking at her hand in his, and saying lowly, “Yeah, it’s all kind of weird. Definitely an adjustment.”
Erin asked lowly, “Are you adjusted all right?”
Kieran looked up and out across the water again, holding Erin’s hand in his and letting his thumb rub over the back of her hand.
He answered without looking at her, “Not really I guess. I’m still working on it. I don’t know if I will ever all the way adjust. I still think about life before a lot. Trying not to look back but I just can’t help it sometimes.”
Erin bit her lips and looked at Kieran from the side, “Can I be part of your adjustment?”
He looked over to her and nodded with a smile, “I think I would really like that.”
Erin wanted to kiss him again and she moved over closer to the wheelchair.
When Kieran realized he mumbled, “Maybe you can come over and sit on my lap.”
Erin looked at him hesitant but Kieran assured her, “I think it’s okay. The kids have sat on my lap before.”
“The kids are also a lot lighter than I.” She still wasn’t all the way sure.
Kieran pulled on her hand, “Don’t worry, just come on over.”
Erin stood up and somewhat insecure and clumsy she positioned herself on Kieran’s lap. She was worried to put all her weight on him and had her one leg awkwardly on the ground still. Kieran realized she was not all the way relaxed on his lap and he smiled, “You can put both legs over to the side of the chair.”
Erin looked down shyly, not really wanting to put her arms around Kieran, “I’m too heavy on you.”
Kieran stroked her hair out of her face some and looked at her, “Hey, don’t worry about that. I can’t even feel you on my lap. Just get comfortable, put your arms around my neck.”
Erin shifted some more and then crossed her legs and let them hang over the side of the chair. She felt her whole body tremble as she positioned herself on Kieran’s lap. She felt the wheel of his chair next to her legs and heard low squeaks of the frame as she found a comfortable position. Sitting on Kieran’s lap this way sent shivers down her spine and she felt very excited about it. As much as she wanted to be close to him she also wasn’t sure why her body reacted the way it did to his being in the wheelchair.
Her heart beat fast in her chest as he wrapped his strong arms around her waist and said softly, “Put your arms around my neck so you can hold on.”
She felt like a little girl about to kiss a boy for the first time as she slowly wrapped her arms around Kieran’s neck. She felt his hair tickle her arm.
She didn’t look at him yet and Kieran sensed her insecurity about the situation, “Erin, look at me.”
She slowly lifted her eyes to him and was again awestruck by his deeply green eyes on her.
He brought his one hand up from behind her back and stroked her hair out of her face again, draping it over her shoulder as he said, “It’s all right Erin. It feels good…you on my lap. I can’t feel you on my legs but I like having you close to me like this.”
She smiled shyly and nodded, saying softly, “It does feel good. I’m sorry I’m so clumsy Kieran. It’s just…” She stopped and her voice trembled some when she continued, “It’s just new for me I guess. I’m sorry.”
He let his fingers stroke over her cheek, “Don’t be sorry. It’s new for me too. Hopefully soon it won’t be awkward anymore, I understand how you feel. Believe me! Since being in this chair I’ve never had a hot woman sit on my lap before, I’m nervous too.”
They laughed together and then Kieran pulled her head to him and pushed his lips on her mouth, kissing her hard and long.
He felt his heart beat quickly as he held Erin to him and kissed her for a long time. It felt so good to have this woman close to him even though he still didn’t know how all this would play out. With all the strange things happening to him lately, Erin felt like a rock in a very stormy ocean. He held her close and he felt her warmth flowing into his body. His hands felt the softness of Erin under them as he stroked over her back and stopped just short when he reached the small of her back and soft curve of her butt. The material of her skirt was thin and he could feel every move of her body on his hands as she let him kiss her and replied with her own kissing.
Erin held on to him and let her hand run through his hair on the back of his head, feeling the movement of his head as he kissed her. She felt his shoulders move and smelled the distant scent of his cologne in her nose. Her mind was spinning as at the same time she thought about his legs and the stillness of the lower half of his body. He had said he didn’t feel her weight on him and it intrigued her. She had never spent much time in her life thinking about paraplegia, there had never been a reason for it. She was curious about Kieran’s disability but at the same time another emotion concerning his paraplegia wanted to push through, an arousal and an attraction to him because of the disability and it confused and even scared her some because it felt wrong to her. She very much enjoyed seeing him in his wheelchair, and she didn’t think it was right.Even without being in the wheelchair Kieran was by no doubt an attractive man to her. His dark hair paired with his amazing green eyes was definitely a hot combination. The scar on the left side of his neck had not escaped her observation and she wondered where it stemmed from. She slowly let her hand come around to the left side of his neck and her fingers felt the uneven skin where the scar ran down from his neck to his collar bone. Her heart was racing inside her chest and as Kieran’s tongue still explored her mouth and circled around her tongue she felt a faint pulsating sensation in her lower body. Being that close to him and thinking about his disability and feeling the scar under her fingers aroused her and for a moment she tried to figure out what it was as she then let her kiss subside and Kieran following her lead softly unlocked his lips from hers.
His hand was still running through her hair and for a moment of silence he worried that his assertiveness had been too much.
He softly asked, “Erin, are you all right?”
Erin looked at him and nodded. Her hand moved away from the scar on his neck.
Kieran knew she had found the scar and he pondered if she had a problem with it. He didn’t know how to address it but before he could say anything, Erin asked, “That scar on your neck, where is it from?”
Kieran looked down and sighed, “Let’s not talk about this now, please.”
Erin nodded, “Okay…I’m sorry.”
He looked up and smiled, “You don’t have to be sorry Erin…it’s just..” He paused, then explained, “It’s so nice with you right now and I don’t want to talk about bad stuff.”
She nodded again and they smiled at each other.
Kieran’s hand ran up and down her back, “This was nice. It felt really good. I’m glad we are here together.”
“It did feel very good. You are a very good kisser.”
Kieran laughed lowly and jokingly wiped his hand over his forehead, “Phew, am I glad to hear that. I was kind of worried if I still got it.”
Erin laughed, “Oh, you definitely got it.”
Kieran felt very good about being with Erin and was surprised when she rested her head on his shoulder and they looked out across the water for moment. He felt her breath on his neck and her body moving softly with the breaths she took. For a moment the thoughts about his nightly ordeals tried to surface and quickly he pushed the thoughts away. He was tempted to maybe let Erin in on his secret but then again he knew he couldn’t tell her these things just yet. He still didn’t know what was going on and why this was happening to him. He questioned his sanity and the possibility that none of it was actually true scared him. He thought he had been doing well mentally. His medications had been adjusted over the last couple of months and he had been able to live without too many anxiety attacks, nightmares or depressive bouts. Suicidal thoughts had not crossed his mind anymore. He felt so good about having met Erin and he wanted to be stable for her. Just the fact of actually having met her seemed to make everything better already. The things she had said about being there for him and wanting to get to know him made him feel fortunate and he would do anything to make this work.
He thought of some of his friends who had wives and girlfriends and how much he had wanted someone in his life again for a while now. Trying his best to adjust to his new life being paraplegic and along with that also dealing with all his mental issues had kept him from trying to meet women or even just keeping his friendships alive. Maybe having met Erin was going to help him the rest of the way to get a grip on life again.
Erin felt Kieran pull her closer to him and she glanced at him when he whispered, “Erin, I’m so happy we met.”
With a kiss on his cheek she said, “I’m happy about that too.”The sun had set over the water and was now gone behind the hills of Meridian Island. Dusk was setting in as they were on their way back to the car. The waterfront was still busy with people outside, temperatures were still nice and comfortable.
Erin felt that they had connected on another level that evening and she was thinking about inviting him into her house.
At the car, Kieran opened the door for Erin and she got in. He went around to his side and she watched as he transferred and then stashed his wheelchair in the backseat.
It was almost 10:30 p.m. by then as they pulled out of the parking lot. Kieran thought about something else to do but instead he decided to take Erin home.
On their way through town he asked lowly, “Is it okay if I take you home Erin?”
Erin was somewhat surprised but she had already made up her mind that she would invite him into her house, “It’s okay.”